Home » Author articleechelon Page

Author: articleechelon

Published articles: 191

Author Articles List

Sort by:

How did “thumbs down” originate?

March 21, 2017 | Posted in Language

Thumbs up means approval; thumbs down, disapproval. These phrases are believed to have been suggested by the gestures made by the spectators at the gladiatorial combats staged by the ancient Romans for entertainment. The spectators were permitted to decide whether a vanquished gladiator should be put to death or permitted to live. If they clenched …

Comments Off on How did “thumbs down” originate? Tags: , , , ,

What causes fresh-water springs in the ocean?

March 20, 2017 | Posted in Geography

Fresh-water springs in the ocean have been noted by travelers and navigators for centuries. In fact the existence of such ocean springs has been known since the time of the ancient Phoenicians, who were notedĀ for their knowledge of navigation and their long voyages. Most of these springs are caused by underground streams with preponderating heads …

Does the sap of a tree rise in the spring?

March 19, 2017 | Posted in Biology

That the sap of a tree rises in the spring and goes down in the fall is a common but erroneous notion. In the spring there is an increased circulation of liquids through the tissues of the tree and the food materials stored in the trunk and branches are dissolved and carried to the buds …

Comments Off on Does the sap of a tree rise in the spring? Tags: , ,

Can moles see?

March 18, 2017 | Posted in Default

Whether ordinary moles can see has been a debatable question for centuries and is not yet finally settled. In his Vulgar Errors (1646) Sir Thomas Browne took considerable pains to disprove the popular notion that moles have no eyes and are totally blind. Although he admitted that these subterranean creatures “do not distinctly see,” he …

Comments Off on Can moles see?

Why is a quarter called “two bits”?

March 17, 2017 | Posted in Default

In England bit has been applied to small coins for centuries. The term at one time was thieves’ slang for money in general. Thomas Dekkar so used it in A Knight’s Conjuring: Jests to Make You Merie, first printed in 1607. Later bit was applied to any small coin, especially to the smallest coin in …

Comments Off on Why is a quarter called “two bits”?

What is meant by pleading the baby act?

March 16, 2017 | Posted in Legal

According to law, a person not of age cannot be bound by contract. If a minor makes a contract and does not abide by the agreement he may plead his minority as a defense in court. The popular phrase pleading the baby act originally referred to this law protecting minors. It meant merely pleading legal …

Comments Off on What is meant by pleading the baby act? Tags: , ,

Is it easier to lift a weight with a large or small pulley?

March 15, 2017 | Posted in Science

Other things being equal, a weight can be lifted more easily with a large pulley than with a small one. Less power is required to drive or pull a vehicle with large wheels than is required to drive or pull one with small wheels. The larger the wheel, the greater the mechanical advantage in overcoming …

Comments Off on Is it easier to lift a weight with a large or small pulley? Tags: , ,

What is a madstone?

March 14, 2017 | Posted in Alternative Medicine

Madstones are certain objects popularly believed to have the power of “sucking” poison from wounds made by mad dogs and venomous snakes. They are supposed to be especially efficacious in preventing hydrophobia or rabies. Belief in the magical properties of madstones was formerly almost universal in America. Abraham Lincoln believed in madstones and when his …

What makes the jumping bean jump?

March 13, 2017 | Posted in Zoology

Mexican jumping bean, jumping bean and broncho bean are popular names given to the separate cells of the seed pods of several varieties of swamp shrubs native to northern Mexico and southwestern United States. These shrubs belong to Euphorbiaceae, or spurge family. When the shrub is in bloom or shortly thereafter a bean moth (Carpocarpsa …

Comments Off on What makes the jumping bean jump? Tags: , ,

Why does it rain harder after a flash of lightning?

March 12, 2017 | Posted in Weather

That it often rains harder after a vivid flash of lightning and heavy peal of thunder is a fact well known to meteorologists. Strictly speaking, however, the rain gush, as weather experts call it, is caused by neither the lightning nor the thunder. According to the United States Weather Bureau, a cloud is electrified when …

Comments Off on Why does it rain harder after a flash of lightning? Tags: , , , ,